United Continental Price Target Raised As Raymond James Analysts See Little Impact From Incident

By Caitlin HustonMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

The price target for United Continental Holdings Inc. , parent of United Airlines, was raised to $87 from $84 at Raymond James Wednesday, as the analysts say backlash from the incident with a passenger will likely have just a "small" impact on the company's bookings. The company beat first-quarter earnings expectations on Monday and issued guidance for passenger revenue per available seat mile above the analysts' estimates. "We do not believe the guide is in jeopardy due to the public/media response to last week's troubling event," wrote Savanthi Syth, the lead analyst on the report, referring to an incident in which a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight. United does have cultural issues to address that have been holding back the company, Syth writes, but he believes that the company's new executive team as well as reviews that are underway "should go a long way to addressing it." The analysts maintained an outperform rating on the stock. Shares of United were up 1% in premarket trade. United shares have fallen 2% week-to-date, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.6%.

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